Blue light is the bad guy of the light world, we're told. A villain hell-bent on doing us harm with its piercing high energy rays. They say that there's no sleep for those caught in its cobalt grip, just endless restless nights and simmering anxiety.
So is blue light‘s reputation deserved?
Blue light is everywhere. The sun pumps out blue light as part of the visible light spectrum. These short-wavelength light rays scatter easily and help to make the sky look blue. Natural blue light is great for our health as it boosts our alertness, helps with memory and cognitive function, and improves our overall mood. Without it we would feel pretty sad. Additionally, blue light helps us to maintain our natural sleep/wake cycle — it guides us into a healthy circadian rhythm.
The best villains are complex characters and that's maybe true of blue light. Like Jekyll and Hyde, the monster in it comes out at night. Indoors your home is awash with artificial, high energy blue light. LED lights, flat screen TVs, laptops and mobile phones stream intense blue light. For instance, did you know that your laptop emits 33,000% more lux (measure of illumination) than the full moon? The impact on your health is a disrupted circadian rhythm, sleeplessness and a bunch of confused neurotransmitters that may well unsettle your mood.
So the advice is, take sensible steps to minimise your exposure to artificial blue light at night. Keep a check on your screen time and dim those LED lights. By doing so, the quality and quantity of your sleep should improve.
Blue light can be a hero and villain all in one day.